Study Away LA: Thanksgiving Break

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Three thousand miles away from home, Temple students studying in LA are trying to get a taste of their East Coast homes for Thanksgiving.

Maddie McDonald, a senior Media Studies and Production student, will be sharing Thanksgiving with a friend from her home town.

“My best friend is flying out and she has family that’s staying out here,” McDonald said.

Her first major holiday away from her own family is giving her the chance to be an honorary member of another.

“It’s nice because I’ll get to be the little extended cousin and do the whole family thing without my real family being out here so it’s a nice home away from home.”

Some families are making the long flight out, but with a new twist to Thanksgiving meal.

“My family is coming out. We usually stay in and have a big thanksgiving dinner with the rest of the family, but since it’s just us we’re going to go to P.F. Chang’s,” Nick Foye said.

Foye isn’t the only one to enjoy home cooking this holiday season. Isaiah Moore is welcoming another family’s recipe onto his palate this year.

“My good friend and roommate Gabe, his mother is coming up, and she’s going to make us a turkey,” Moore said.

A “Friendsgiving” is replacing Thanksgiving for some without family making the trip.

“My boyfriend’s coming out and then I’m visiting my friend in San Francisco and we’ll have a little Friendsgiving and it’ll be great,” Kaitlin Osborn, a senior MSP student, said.

While it might not be the traditional “Thanksgiving” meal, many of the same favorites will be present.

“I’m planning on having some cranberry sauce and some mashed potatoes and like some stuffing, you know, the classics,” Osborn said.

Dana Sliwinski, a senior studying Film and Media Arts, is taking the opportunity to perfect a family tradition, herself.

“My grandma make the best home made rolls. So I’m going to make them out here this time. I’ll make them myself so I’ll have a little piece of that, out here while I’m away from home”

Others are gaining a new perspective on their home away from home.

“This town is packed, but apparently this place is a ghost town on thanksgiving day and I really want to see what that looks like,” Patrick Dwyer, a senior FMA student, said.

While he says he’ll miss his large and still growing family, Dwyer isn’t worried about his first Thanksgiving away from Pennsylvania.

“I’m sure there’ll be other people here and we’ll make the best of it.”

Update LA: California Faces Crippling Draught

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While those in the South are recovering from crippling rainfall as a result of Hurricane Matthew, those in California are facing the worst drought on record.

While water levels are nearing all time lows on the West Coast – water conservation efforts are hitting new highs, but saving water in the largest desert city in the country isn’t easy.

It’s become a real challenge in supporting this many people in this very dense metropolitan area with limited water, said Karla Heidelberg, PhD, Director of USC Environmental Studies Department.

After another dry year, the Los Angeles river water levels are at a near record low. Scientists agree that the end of the drought is no where near in sight so the burden falls on residents and government officials to save the regions’ water.

“Our needs in the LA region are to provide a package of conservation minded approaches, especially when we’re dealing with such a large urban area,” said Heidelberg.

The market is starting to catch up to that idea. New rain barrels can reclaim more than 600 gallons of stormwater a year. Businesses and Californians can save thousands of gallons yearly by replacing old sprinklers with new efficient models.

With temperatures now on the rise every year, officials are cautiously approaching their plan of action.

Mark Cowin, Director of the Department of Water explains that there is great uncertainty as to what will happen with climate change in the future so again we need to be conservative about how we expect those types of changes to take place.

For the first time in this historic 5 year-long drought, city water reserves actually saw increases in 2016. So for now, officials say conservation efforts are paying off.

Student Activities: Bringing Philly to You

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Temple students have plenty of things to around campus while living in a city like Philadelphia. Sometimes though, these activities aren’t so easy to afford. This is where Temple’s Student Activities organization comes in.

Student Activities in collaboration with Main Campus Program Board works to bring students fun and inexpensive activities. These include trips to athletic games around the area, group dinners, plays, musical events, and much more.

One program that Student activities sponsors is called Philly Connections. This is an effort to get Temple students out and about in their city.

“Philly connections goal is to provide an opportunity for students to go to events they don’t have money for so giving these students an opportunity to have fun in the city without breaking their wallets.” Bryan Newman, program coordinator for Student Activities and MCPB faculty advisor said.

Philly Connections sells tickets to all events for $10. Tickets are sold at The Reel in the Student Center, and any student can participate as long as they have a TUID.

Temple’s Student Activities gives students a fun inexpensive way to explore Philadelphia on a college budget, and sometimes the enjoyment even comes right here to main campus.

Student Activities transformed the skate park on cecil and broad into a street festival bringing all the best of Philly here to Temple’s campus.

“I think Temple’s trying to do a really cool thing by trying to do a kind of an ode to Philly. They’ve been doing a lot of night markets, and pop up events so I think it’s cool that they’re trying to bring the city to temple and do something cool like this,” said Paige Gross, a sophomore journalism student.

The event called “TU Pop Up” featured LED mini golf to mirror Franklin Square’s own mini golf set up. Philly’s own dueling pianos from the party bar Howl at the Moon in Center City. And of course no Philadelphia festival would be complete without plenty of food trucks from around the city.

With so much to do there was something for everyone to enjoy.

“I particularly liked making the headbands with the flowers. The ice cream is really good,” said Ricky Peterson, a freshman education major.

Many students enjoyed the contrast from last year’s “Cherry On Experience” that had more physical activities including sports and laser tag to entertain students.

“Last year’s Cherry On day was too hot, and didn’t have things for everyone to do. I like that [TU Pop Up is] at night. I like what they’ve done with the campus it looks really cool this year,” said Cassandra Walsh a sophomore neuroscience major.

Whether you want to experience a new international cuisine, the bright lights of Yankee Stadium, or sample some of Philly’s finest food trucks Student Activities is working to bring that experience to you.


In Depth: What Temple’s Doing About Community Relations

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Real estate companies continue to buy vacant lots, remodel, and rent existing properties around Temple to be sold to students. With this influx of residential students the university must balance student and community concerns now more than ever. Temple’s Office of Community Relations serves as a liaison with the surrounding community.

temple-made-door-600“The community relations office is typically the first point of contact between the community and the university,” Beverly Coleman, Assistant Vice President for Community Relations said.

That first point of contact is usually at community campus councils where residents can have their voice heard.  The university holds separate councils for community members west and east of campus.

Those living east of campus organize in the Yorktown Community Organization. However, residents living along the western border of campus have no official representative group.

Many concerns from the surrounding community involve residents’ perception of Temple’s expansion. One common concern is the effect this expansion has on living costs for residents.

North Philadelphia resident Pete Bobbison says that the expansion is positive because it helps to clean up the community. He did, however, express concern for the apparent rising costs in the area.

“It could be negative because I mean just look at just the bars up there alone are expensive and all the dining and eating and stores. They’re more expensive than the corner stores people are used to,” Bobbison said.

Although rising costs may be a side effect of Temple’s expansion, the

university looks to use the expansion as a way to provide programs to help support the surrounding community.

According to Coleman the Community Relations Office offers over 40 classes for residents. These courses include a GED preparation course and a course on computer and IT basics. These courses aren’t free, but can be taken by community members for under $55 per course depending on their financial need.

These programs have been greeted with mostly positive public reaction.

“Well it’s improving the neighborhood without a doubt. You know it makes it more attractive to people to move into the neighborhood,” said Robert Freeman, a North Philadelphia homeowner on Jefferson Street.

One such public program will be located at the site of the old William Penn High School. Temple plans to knock down the old, and now abandoned, facility and replace it with new athletic fields for students along with a career training facility for the community.

Although these public programs help to boost the community’s support of Temple’s expansion some people are still unhappy with what more Temple students living around campus means for their everyday life.

“People are concerned about quality of life issues, and so typically it’s parties that are very loud, and very late at night,” Coleman said.

Members of the community often cite such parties, along with the increased litter they create, as one of the biggest problems Temple poses in the community.

While Temple continues to shift from its original role as a commuter college to more of a residential school, the Community Relations Office is there to allow residents to give input to the university.

Beverly Coleman believes that serving as an in-between for the community is one of the most vital jobs her office provides.

“I think what’s important is that we have a dialogue and that we have

a relationship. That foundation, I find, is incredibly important.”

Inside look at the ROTC program

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We took a look into Temple’s Army ROTC program and see what life is like as a cadet.

Senior criminal justice major Cadet Robert Pichini is now looking into the future of Temple as a 2nd lieutenant in the US Army. A typical day for Pichini starts at 6 AM. The battalion starts its early morning physical training that can vary from day to day.

Even when the weather is bad outside this will not stop the cadets from doing their training. Temple University Professor of Military Science Lieutenant Colonel Greg Nardi is in charge of the ROTC and is looking for the best and the brightest to join the program. Not only do the cadets have to work on regular academics they are also taught how to become military leaders in a classroom setting.

Once cadets graduate they will continue onto the military as commissioned officers for various branches within the army. A new lieutenant is typically placed into a leadership position once they have arrived at their new military unit.

Many graduates will continue their career in the military as officers far beyond what they originally signed up for. Temple’s ROTC program helps mold our future leaders of America both on and off the battlefield.


Cosby Resigns From Board Following Scrutiny

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Embattled actor and arguably Temple’s most famous alum Bill Cosby has stepped down from the university’s board of trustees, according to reports Monday afternoon.

The resignation comes in light of public outrage over twenty women — including a Temple employee—coming forward and accusing the 77-year-old actor of drugging and raping them.

“I have always been proud of my association with Temple University,” Cosby said in a statement released by Temple,  “I have always wanted to do what would be in the best interests of the University and its students. As a result, I have tendered my resignation from Temple University Board of Trustees.”

Maintaining his innocence, Cosby has remained mostly quiet on the issuecosby_temple

Cosby, a frequent visitor to Temple’s campus and a speaker at nearly every May commencement ceremony, was given an athletic scholarship to Temple. It is unclear whether his philanthropic capacity with the school will continue. According to WCAU, Cosby’s most recent fundraising effort yielded $100 million dollars for the university and keeping tuition costs down.

The university released Cosby’s public statement on his resignation Monday evening, “I have always been proud of my association with Temple University. I have always wanted to do what would be in the best interests of the university and its students. As a result, I have tendered my resignation from the Temple University Board of Trustees.”

Temple offered a short response.

“The Board of Trustees accepts Dr. Cosby’s resignation from the board and thanks him for his service to the university.”

The resignation comes after Temple was put under public pressure to end relations with the long-time comedian.  A petition calling for an immediate severance of any relationship between Cosby and the university with a goal of 1,500 signatures had received over one thousand signees by the time of the statement’s release.

He held the position at the university since 1982.

In the weeks since the allegations gained national attention, upcoming work that Cosby was set to do with NBC has been cancelled, and Netflix has postponed his comedy special Bill Cosby 77 indefinitely. TV Land has pulled The Cosby Show reruns from its programming.

No charges have been nor can be pressed against Cosby because the statutes of limitation on every allegation has expired.

Pope Francis to Visit Philadelphia

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Pope_Francis_among_the_people_at_St._Peter's_Square_-_12_May_2013Temple Update Writer Max Blake

Pope Francis has announced that he is officially coming to Philadelphia, expecting to draw roughly two million visitors to the city. Vatican officials said Monday that he would be in town attending the World Meeting of Families next fall.

The World Meeting of Families taking place September 22nd to 27th, is the largest gathering of Catholic families on earth and is held every three years. 10,500 hotel rooms are nestled within Philadelphia’s Center and University City and a total of 30,000 rooms sit in the immediate surroundings.

An estimated audience of two million people could be flocking to the city of brotherly love for the Holy Father’s arrival. His visit will last three days and includes a mass scheduled for the general public on September 27th, 2015 on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway.

Organizers may propose a “homestay” initiative, which would give homeowners in Philadelphia the chance to rent space out to incoming spectators for a small fee.

Mayor Nutter said that this will be the largest event in the city’s modern history. “We host big events well here in Philadelphia,” Nutter said. “This is slightly bigger, with a few more zeros at the end in terms of the number of folks coming, but we’ll be ready.”

John Paul II was the last pope to visit Philadelphia. He delivered a mass on the parkway in 1979.

PROFILE: Gubernatorial Candidate Tom Corbett

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Pennsylvania’s incumbent Governor, republican Tom Corbett, came into the Gubernatorial Election with a statewide approval rating of 24%, which is the lowest of the 43 states polled by the Public Policy Polling survey.

Gubernatorial Candidate Thomas Corbett

The Facts: 

Corbett is running on a platform of “Building a Stronger PA.” Corbett wants to continue working to keep state income taxes down.

When it comes to education, Corbett believes that spending wisely is more important than increasing the state’s education budget. Corbett is a strong advocate for giving public school students credit to attend private establishments and creating a state commission for authorizing charter schools. Many liberals accuse the governor of irresponsibly cutting education which has led to many school closings especially in Philadelphia.

Corbett’s stance on abortion rights is in line with his Republican party. He signed legislation to prevent private insurance companies from covering abortion procedures in the marketplace created by the 2010 federal health care law.  The Governor gained the support of the Federal government for parts of his “Healthy PA” plan to subsidize private insurance coverage using Medicaid expansion dollars. Corbett needs federal approval to decrease Medicaid benefits for healthy adults.

You can find more information on Corbett’s platform at:

President Obama Packs Liacouras Center for Tom Wolf

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updatenews-obama2x-presidential-visitPresident Barack Obama made a special appearance on Temple’s campus Sunday night.  The president appeared at the Liacouras Center as the keynote speaker at a campaign rally for Pennsylvania Democratic

President Obama shaking hands and talking to supporters following the rally. Photo by Rob DiRienzo, Temple Update.
President Obama shaking hands and talking to supporters following the rally. Photo by Rob DiRienzo, Temple Update.

Gubernatorial candidate Tom Wolf.

In his first visit to Temple since the 2010 midterm elections, the 44th president called for people to get out and vote for his fellow Democrat Tom Wolf.

In response to cheers of admiration from the crowd President Obama responded, “I love you too, but I need you to vote.”

President Obama spoke to the thousands in attendance for the rally about Tom Wolf’s positive qualities as a potential governor.

“He’s a practical person who just wants to make it work for the people of Pennsylvania. So he knows, for example, that education is the key, not just to economic growth, but also to personal advancement in a modern economy.”

Wolf is running to unseat incumbent Republican Tom Corbett. Governor Corbett campaigned Sunday in the Philadelphia suburbs with New Jersey governor Chris Christie.

Polling hours for Tuesday’s General Election will run from 7 AM to 8 PM.  Tune into TUTV on Comcast channel 50 and Verizon channel 45 starting just prior to 8 PM Tuesday evening for election coverage.

News Ticker: Start of New Annenberg

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A year-long project to enhance Temple’s Annenberg Hall began with the installation of a news ticker above the building’s front entrance along 13th street. The ticker will feature up-to-the-minute news streaming from Philadelphia’s KYW Newsradio.

Installment of the news ticker is the first step in Annenberg’s enhancement project that will include a new outdoor seating area, new furniture throughout the building, increased office space for faculty, and new hallway ceilings.

“The exterior of the building is rather generic otherwise, but this will make it clear that news and public-affairs communication are at the heart of what we do,” School of Media and Communication Dean, David Boardman said.

The 40 feet long and 2 feet tall ticker will also be used for important information and announcements from Temple and the School of Media and Communication.


Video courtesy of Temple Update Reporter Rebecca Rosenblatt